Déjà vu?: Opportunities and obstacles in developing alcohol policy in English prisons

Duke, Karen L. (2005) Déjà vu?: Opportunities and obstacles in developing alcohol policy in English prisons. Drugs: education, prevention and policy, 12 (5). pp. 417-430. ISSN 0968-7637

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Abstract

Under the new Alcohol Harm Reduction Strategy for England published by the Prime Minister's Strategy Unit in 2004, there has been an increasing focus on crime and public order issues and alcohol-related harm experienced by 'vulnerable' or 'at risk' groups. Prisoners have been identified as a vulnerable group who have high rates of dependence on alcohol and problems with alcohol-related offending. In late 2004, the Prison Service launched its first alcohol strategy. Based on an analysis of key policy documents, official enquiries and research, this paper explores how the 'problem' of alcohol can be defined within the prison setting and the issues it raises for both the individual prisoner and the institution. It examines the lack of policy and strategic direction prior to the publication of the new prison alcohol strategy and the possible reasons for the complacency around alcohol in prisons in contrast to illicit drugs. The paper critically assesses the new strategy in relation to the testing and treatment initiatives proposed and the lack of research and resources underpinning them. There is a real risk that the strategy will fail unless adequate resources are forthcoming to expand treatment provision. Given the neglect and complacency around alcohol, policy champions or policy entrepreneurs are needed to lobby for funding and keep the prison alcohol issue on the policy agenda.

Item Type:Article
Research Areas:School of Law > Criminology and Sociology
ID Code:328
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Deposited On:04 Nov 2008 17:34
Last Modified:14 Oct 2014 15:25

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